Five Journeys to Oracle Cloud: Considerations and Perspectives

November 4, 2020 | 4 minute read
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By Jeff Haynes, Baker Tilly

Modernizing your IT infrastructure and reimagining back-office processes may sound daunting, and it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart! Considering the amount of time and expense it will take, one can’t help but wonder, is there ever a good time to undertake that level of organizational change

For many organizations, the benefits of moving to the cloud definitely outweigh the costs. Viewing the project as a catalyst for change and having intentional expected outcomes in mind, is paramount for success. For these four organizations, the time was right for them to take on this initiative, in order to continue to set their organizations up for success. During Baker Tilly’s recent webinar, “Let’s do this! Considerations to begin your journey to Oracle Cloud HCM,” four customers discussed why and how they moved to the cloud, including how they built business use cases, cloud adoption roadmaps, and managed change within their organizations to successfully adopt the cloud. They were: 

  • Janel Allen, Chief Human Resources Officer at Children’s Medical Center
  • Mark Johnson, Director of HCM Technology at Equity Residential
  • Greg Cullison, Executive Director and Global Head of HR Technology, Operations, Data Analytics and Payroll at the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation
  • Jodi Levy, Assistant Vice President of Business Administration Systems at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 

Full Implementation of Oracle Cloud HCM 

A number of reasons prompted Equity Residential to pursue full adoption of a cloud platform – chief among them were disparate systems that didn’t speak well to each other and an inconsistent user experience. Additionally, Johnson lamented that one of the biggest issues was costly, time-consuming, and infrequent upgrades to their legacy PeopleSoft system, which made it feel like the organization was constantly behind the curve when it came to technology. 

The decision to transition off its PeopleSoft platform resulted from a joint strategic planning committee of representatives from their IT, HR, and payroll departments. The cross-functional team worked together to select a unified cloud platform that would work across the entire employee lifecycle. Oracle Cloud HCM Core, Payroll, Talent Management, and Compensation fit that bill for Equity. 

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) took a similar approach when it selected Oracle, Cullison noted, but also focused on two additional key areas. First, coming from an on-premises platform that was highly customized and therefore limiting when it came to applying upgrades, the new cloud solution had to be scalable, centralized, and flexible. Oracle Cloud HCM’s benefit was in its configurability, which allowed DTCC to focus on enhancing the employee experience, drive global engagement, and keep the platform maturing at the same rate as the business. The second key area was security, an element Oracle offered while maintaining flexibility in a cloud infrastructure.

Modernizing your IT infrastructure and reimagining back-office processes may sound daunting. Learn how to make it manageable with Oracle Cloud HCM partner Baker Tilly.

Hybrid of On-premises System and Cloud

UT Southwestern’s Medical Center chose to take a hybrid approach as their first foray into the cloud, which they hope will allow them to evolve from manual ways of work. Their journey is staggered, which includes leaving their core HR processes in PeopleSoft and transferring their talent and compensation management processes to Oracle Cloud HCM. Levy noted that gathering valuable overarching feedback gives them the opportunity to manage change, make modifications where necessary, and prepare for the eventual full adoption of Cloud. 

“For us, it was a matter of starting somewhere and making a big effort to incorporate as many people as possible so we could get it correct,” Levy stressed. “Because we were coming off paper, we did have processes that were documented; however, once you automate those processes, obviously things change. We had to change with the way the software works, so we are adapting as we go.”

Cross-pillar Approach with Oracle Cloud ERP and HCM

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center made the decision to move to Oracle Cloud ERP and HCM and went live with a “Phase 1” approach in early 2019. Coming from an on-premise Lawson system, Children’s looked to modernize its aging IT infrastructure and propel its back-office functions forward with an enterprise-wide cloud platform.  Phase 2 kicked off in early 2020 and emphasized the important Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, and Compensation Management modules that would be essential to Children’s as they grow from a more regional employer to a true national pediatric employer. Phase 2 also includes an assessment and optimization of Phase 1, to ensure Children’s is maximizing the critical financial, supply chain and HCM related functionality implemented a year earlier. Even amidst COVID-19, they were able to continue the project in an entirely virtual format, keeping to the original go-live date to complete the project on time. 

Allen enthusiastically discussed how the organization took an interdisciplinary approach, aligning IT, finance, HR, and operations to move forward with the enterprise-wide implementation of a cloud-based single-source platform. She advised finding the right implementation consultant is critical: “I can’t underscore enough someone who has a strong team, a lot of expertise and will work well within your organization”. 

Closing Thoughts

As these four clients can attest, the journey to Oracle Cloud need not be straight and a tailored plan may be warranted for any organization to adopt and sustain a healthy cloud platform. Viewing the project as a catalyst for change, expecting different business outcomes, having an intentional end in mind—informed by a roadmap, is paramount for success. Please follow this link to hear the webinar recording, and feel free to continue the conversation by contacting us

Listen to the webinar (

To learn more about moving to Oracle Cloud HCM, get the guidebook: Eight Steps the Future of Work

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